The billionaire democrat Michael Bloomberg’s candidacy is already in big trouble after questions have arisen related to the media outlet he owns.
According to a former member of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Bloomberg News’ refusal to investigate its owner, could violate campaign finance laws.
Editor-in-chief John Micklethwait announced Sunday following his boss’s official campaign launch, that they will not investigate Michael Bloomberg or any of his Democratic primary opponents, but that will continue to investigate President Trump.
The biased policy “raises concerns under federal campaign finance law,” said former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky, citing regulations that exempt news outlets owned by political candidates, such as Bloomberg News, from campaign finance rules as long as those outlets give “reasonably equal coverage to all opposing candidates.”
“The problem with what Bloomberg [News] has announced is that they are not going to be giving equal coverage to all opposing candidates,” Spakovsky told the DCNF. “They’re only going to be covering one opposing candidate, and that’s Donald Trump… if they’re not willing to do any negative stories that might come up about Mike, whereas they are about Trump, then they’re directly helping his campaign.”
“I think if a complaint were to be filed with the FEC, where I served for two years, there would be serious questions raised whether this policy violates this particular provision of the FEC,” Spakovsky said.
Former FEC Chairman Bradley Smith pointed out that the key factor to determining whether Bloomberg News’s editorial policy puts its press exemption at risk is whether the commission determines that Trump is Michael Bloomberg’s opponent at this stage of the process.
“A good argument nonetheless could be made that the press exemption should not apply here, given Bloomberg’s own declaration, ‘I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America,’” Smith said, citing Michael Bloomberg’s campaign website.
The director of federal reform at the nonpartisan watchdog organization Campaign Legal Center, Brendan Fischer, echoed Smith’s opinion on the matter.
“Bloomberg News declining to cover any Democratic presidential hopeful means that they are giving equal coverage to all opposing candidates in the primary, but President Trump will be the Democratic nominee’s opponent in the general,” Fischer told the DCNF.
Bloomberg will need all the help he can get if he hopes to have any chance of defeating Trump and it seems even his own campaign is doubting his chances.
In an appearance On CNN,” Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said Bloomberg’s chances are a longshot, and the impeachment debacle targeting President Donald Trump is making his “re-election more likely.”
Sheekey said, “The economy is doing well. When you look at the presidential campaign, we don’t have a national campaign. We have a campaign that happens in six states. It happens in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona today.
And The New York Times polled earlier this month—we’ve polled it ourselves—if that election occurred today, Donald Trump has a pretty clear shot, according to The New York Times, of winning all six states. He only needs to win three or four. If he had an election and it was in those states today, he would win.”
CNN’s Amanpour interjected, “Even with the impeachment process?”
Sheekey said, “Yeah. I think I worry a lot that we’re setting ourselves up here to impeachment, acquittal, and re-election….it’s not helping in the places where this election will ultimately be decided.
There are about 31 congressional districts in this country that are swing districts. Mike Bloomberg spent an enormous amount of money and time and his own leadership to focus on 24 of those races last year, all Republican.
We elected 18 democrats, 15 women. If you’re in one of those districts today and you’re a moderate member of Congress, almost all of them would tell you today these impeachment hearings are threatening their re-election.
If you think about that, those are the districts to where we tilt the presidential election. So by definition, it means the impeachment proceedings are making the president’s re-election more likely, not less likely.”